Originally created 09/09/06

Mustangs off to a fast start

LANGLEY - This year's Midland Valley football team needed just three weeks to accomplish what the 2004 and 2005 Mustangs teams combined to do - win two games.

After a pair of one-win seasons, Midland Valley wrapped up its first multi-victory year since 2003 with a 36-6 drubbing of Williston-Elko on Friday night at L.L. Willis Stadium.

The Mustangs, benefiting from an easier non-region schedule that swapped the likes of Class AAAA Aiken for the Class A Blue Devils, looked good in moving to 2-1 on the year, with seven more games remaining.

"Coming off two 1-9 seasons, it feels pretty good to already have two wins," said Midland Valley quarterback Brett Godwin, who accounted for 133 yards and two touchdowns. "We've got a long way to go, and we want more."

The bigger, deeper Mustangs (Class AAA) jumped all over the Blue Devils.

"We're just breaking the curve right now," said Midland Valley junior receiver Raphael Griffin, who caught a 31-yard touchdown pass three minutes into the game.

Midland Valley showed off its new-look spread offense by racking up 186 yards in the first half en route to a 23-0 lead at intermission. In the end, Midland Valley outgained Williston-Elko, 263-124, and only committed one turnover to the Blue Devils' three.

"We saw some improvement tonight," Midland Valley coach Rick Knight said. "We continue to improve on offense, but our blocking up front has to get better. That's going to be the big thing all year."

Williston-Elko coach Paris Mason said before the game his team needed to get off to a good start to have a chance.

That didn't happen.

Godwin's strike to Griffin was followed two possessions later by Terry Bradley's 15-yard power run for a 13-0 first-quarter lead.

The Blue Devils (1-2), meanwhile, were marred by botched special teams plays, costly penalties and an all-around lack of production early on.

"The kids came out in the first half and just didn't play," Mason said. "At times, it looked like we never even got off the bus.''

Midland Valley, a senior-laden squad with more speed and big-play threats than in recent years, spread the wealth Friday night. The Mustangs led 36-0 until Williston-Elko scored late.

"We expect to do the things we need to do, and we've been getting it done lately," Godwin said.

Reach Steve Sanders at (706) 823-3216 or steven.l.sanders@augustachronicle.com.


PLAY OF THE GAME: Midland Valley quarterback Brett Godwin hit a wide-open Raphael Griffin down the left sideline on the game's sixth play for a 31-yard touchdown that set the tone.

WHY MIDLAND VALLEY WON: The Mustangs were able to strike quickly on offense and didn't allow much of anything on defense, limiting the visitors to only 16 first-half yards.

WHY WILLISTON-ELKO LOST: The Blue Devils had a couple of drive-killing penalties early, a couple of botched punt snaps and a six-yard punt in the first half.

STAR OF THE GAME: Godwin, who rushed for 54 yards and a touchdown and threw for 79 and a score.

WHAT'S NEXT: Midland Valley travels to Barnwell next week; Williston-Elko travels to Ridge Spring-Monetta next week.


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